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THE   LIGHTHOUSE

a new carpet for the staircase. And once some-
thing led him to talk about the Ramsays and
he had said how when he first saw her she had
been wearing a grey hat; she was not more
than nineteen or twenty. She was astonishingly
beautiful. There he stood looking down die
avenue at Hampton Court, as if he could see her
there among the fountains.

She looked now at the drawing-room step.
She saw, through William's eyes, the shape of a
woman, peaceful and silent, with downcast eyes.
She sat musing, pondering (she was in grey that
day, Lily thought). Her eyes were bent. She
would never lift them. Yes, thought Lily, looking
intently, I must have seen her look like that, but
not in grey; nor so still, nor so young, nor so
peaceful. The figure came readily enough. She
was astonishingly beautiful, William said. But
beauty was not everything. Beauty had this
penalty—it came too readily, came too com-
pletely. It stilled life—froze it. One forgot the
little agitations; the flush, the pallor, some queer
distortion, some light or shadow, which made the
face unrecognisable for a moment and yet added a
quality one saw for ever after. It was simpler to
smooth that all out under the cover of beauty.
But what was the look she had, Lily wondered,
when she clapped her deer-stalker's hat on her
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